The Parking Lot Movie

The Parking Lot Movie (2010)

“It taught me how to be a human being.”

For today’s Saturday replay I decided to re-visit a documentary that really surprised me with its quality when I first watched it a couple years ago. It’s an excellent example of how a good documentary can take a what would seem to be a pretty mundane topic, and present it from an interesting angle.

As the title would suggest, The Parking Lot Movie sets its lens on a the staff of a commercial parking lot. This particular lot is located behind a strip of bars near the campus of the University of Virginia. The staff consists primarily of graduate students studying topics like philosophy, religion, and anthropology. They also eschew normal business assumptions like “the customer is always right.”

In between collecting parking fees, and dissuading drunks, these odd souls wax philosophical and turn the walls of the small attendant’s booth into works of art.

I have to admit that on this second viewing the film didn’t quite hold up as being as good as I remembered it being. However, I’m not sure if this was simply because already knew the story, or because I’d made it better in my mind than it actually was.

That said, The Parking Lot Movie has a lot of what I’d look for in a documentary, it tells a true story about something I never would have heard of before, it provides a voice to a number of interesting people, and in the course of doing this it sheds some light on human nature that extends far beyond a simple parking lot.

[The Parking Lot Movie (2010) – Director: Meghan Eckman – Not Rated]

OM|ED Rating: Worth Seeing